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The Brick Market

Globally brick kilns burn 375,000,000 tonnes of coal per year. This makes the industry the third highest user of coal in India.

The introduction of a fuel efficient, cost effective kiln technology that produces high quality bricks is economically, socially and environmentally critical. HZZK technology provides a kiln that meets the needs of the brick industry in the developing world.

The brick industry in the developing world is a vast, coal burning and polluting industry almost entirely lacking automation. 1,500 billion bricks are produced globally each year, of these 1,300 billion bricks (or 87%) are from Asia.

Rapidly accelerating urbanization at an average rate of 6% p.a, this growth is driving increasing demand for bricks. Solid, fired clay bricks are among the most widely used building materials.

The cost of fuel and its availability is a major concern for brick entrepreneurs.

The labour intensive exercise of hand moulding clay into bricks (Hand-made bricks), is the predominant way of shaping green bricks in developing countries. In contrast, bricks in the developed world are machine made, fired in highly automated electricity dependent tunnel kilns using a skilled labour force. The brick sector in developing countries is generally labour intensive and non-mechanized. The lack of automation is the result of a number of factors, including;

  • Availability of a pool of a mainly itinerant, low cost workforce.
  • The workforce is mainly drawn from subsistence farmers and this is their only source of cash income.
  • Lack of access to consistent electricity/power supply to run machinery.
  • Extremely high capital cost of establishing mechanized kilns and the resultant extended payback periods for their owners in what is a free enterprise system in most countries


Country Production % No. Billion P.A.
China 66.67% 1,000
India 13.33% **200
Pakistan 3.00% 45
Vietnam 1.67% 25
Bangladesh 1.13% 17
Nepal 0.40% 6
Rest of Asia 0.47% 7
Total Asia 86.67% 1,300
USA 0.53% 8
UK 0.37% 4
Australia 0.13% 2
Rest of World 12.40% 186
Total Rest of World (Incl. Latin America) 13.33% 200
Total World Production 100.00% 1,500

Source: Ellen Baum – Session 1, Mexico & India: GKSPL Estiate, Pakistan: Estimate based on CIWCE report Lahore, Bangladesh & China: ESMAP & World Bank Report, Vietnam: Ministry of Construction Vietnam

Figures are based on a very conservative 300,000 brick kilns, today there are 500,000.  India alone has over 180,000 kilns and the industry is still expanding.

** Increased to 250 Billion in 2017

CCAC Mitigating Black Carbon PDFThe Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) recently published a comprehensive and interesting report on the worlds brick industry: ‘Mitigating Black Carbon And Other Pollutants From Brick Production’